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No Shows &
Late Cancellations

This will be an essay as much as an explanation.  So, be patient.  The explanation is somewhat complicated.

Psychiatrists typically charge their full fee for No Shows and Late Cancellations.  This is probably one of the least understood policies in psychiatry.  Actually our practice charges less for Late Cancellations because you had the courtesy to call us beforehand.  But on to the explanation.

Psychiatrists spend more time with their patients at each visit than most other specialties.  We schedule approximately 2-3 patients per hour, depending on the type of visit.  With so few visits scheduled per day, no psychiatrist can afford for patients not to show up for their appointments.  After all, this is how we make a living.

You may say, "But my car wouldn't start.  It isn't my fault.  Why should I have to pay the fee?"  You appear to have a point -- at least with regard to the Late Cancellation not being your fault.  The question is this:  Who should bear responsibility for the Late Cancellation?  Should the responsibility be that of the psychiatrist?

Unfortunately, this issue is a reflection of where our society is going.  It is becoming popular for people to assign personal responsibility to someone else.  Look at the situation in our schools.  If a child fails in school today because he didn't study or do his homework, the teacher is blamed for not being entertaining enough to motivate the student.  (Think this isn't the case?  Ask a teacher.)  Is it correct to blame the teacher?  All adults attended school while growing up, and those of us over 35 or 40 can remember the day when not doing well in school was OUR fault if we hadn't studied.

Fortunately, this strange new practice of blaming someone else isn't the norm in our courtrooms.  If you are driving a car, your brakes go out, and you hit another vehicle, who should pay the bill, you or the driver of the other car?  You do.  Why?  You didn't cause your brakes to fail, did you?  So why is the accident deemed your responsibility?Because it was you whose brakes went out.  (If you were in the car that was hit, you would resent having to pay to have your car repaired, wouldn't you?  And rightly so because in that case, you were blameless.)

The question is not that you caused your brakes to go out.  You are responsible for the accident because it was your car that caused the accident.

Likewise, when you Late Cancel or No Show for an appointment, it is not right for the psychiatrist to assume the responsibility for that appointment.  In essence, when you schedule an appointment with a physician, you have contracted for the individual's services at a specific time and place.  If you Late Cancel or No Show, you have breeched the contract, not the physician.

In practice, we are actually more understanding than what has been described, but the point remains that you are personally responsible for keeping your appointments.  If you believe that this is unjust, then we really can't afford to treat you.  Furthermore, your Late Cancellation (unless it gives us time to fill the appointment) or No Show, prevents someone else who is suffering from seeing us for treatment.

We hope that this lengthy explanation is helpful to you.  Treatment is a two-way street.  It requires personal responsibility on both our parts for the treatment to be effective.

(859) 823-0507 

* * * Please Note:  We are no longer accepting patients with
Medicaid, Medicare, Aetna, UHC/UMR, or Suboxone patients.  * * *

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